Cat Constipation Enema Treatment

Cat constipation is a fairly common problem and can be caused, often temporarily, by hairballs, dietary changes or medications. Prolonged constipation can indicate more significant problems such as an underlying disease or intestinal obstruction. If a few days have passed, and your cat has been unable to relieve his bowels, a cat constipation enema treatment may be in order.

Cat Constipation

Cats will normally have a bowel movement once or twice per day. If several days have gone by without one, the cat seems to be straining to go or the feces is hard and crusty, there may be a problem with constipation. Obstructions such as hairballs or tumors can stop up the colon, leaving the feces to harden. Once this happens, the colon is unable to contract and expel the feces properly, and it will continue to build up. It's important that you keep several factors in mind when dealing with possible cat constipation. Straining may indicate a blockage of feces, or it may indicate something different. Observe what the cat does manage to pass and if it's liquid, diarrhea or contains blood or mucus, the problem may be with the intestines and not one of colon blockage.

Enema Treatment for Cat Constipation

Over the counter enemas found readily at drug and department stores are not safe for use with cats, as they contain ingredients which may be toxic. Be sure any enema you select does not contain sodium phosphate. Enema treatments may be successful if the cat is experiencing mild to moderate constipation. A soapy water enema or one containing mineral oil may be the best choice. An enema treatment works by injecting liquid into the rectum and colon, forcing the lower intestinal tract to expand. Often, this will result in rapid and complete elimination of any hardened and blocked feces. Most times, it is recommended that a cat enema treatment be performed under medical supervision, but with some research and instruction, you can learn to properly perform enema treatments at home.


Megacolon is a condition of severe constipation where the colon becomes enlarged and filled with fecal matter. Depending upon the severity of this condition, an enema treatment may not be successful. If this is the case, or examination and testing concludes that the blockage is severe, a manual extraction of feces may need to be performed under general anesthesia. As a result of megacolon, the cat may also be experiencing dehydration. Hospitalization may be recommended for removal of the feces, administration of drugs to stimulate the movement of food through the digestive tract, administration of laxatives and monitoring of the diet. A high fiber diet is not recommended for cats with megacolon or chronic constipation. Instead, an all-meat diet that is highly digestible, resulting in less production of feces, should be introduced.


If chronic constipation becomes megacolon, and the cat does not respond well to intensive medical treatment, a colectomy may be recommended. During a colectomy, a majority of the lower bowel area of the colon is removed. Most cats respond well to this procedure.